Top International Investment Advisors

Find the Right Investment Advisor for Your Situation

Getty Images

Investment advisors specialize in helping investors decide what securities to purchase. Some advisors only provide advice while others manage their own mutual funds. International investment advisors are focused on providing investors with global exposure rather than just investing in domestic funds and securities. If you’d like to expand beyond U.S. borders, an international investment advisor may be a good idea to help navigate the waters.

In this article, we will look at how to find an international investment advisor, some important questions to ask, and other important considerations.

Finding the Right Financial Advisor

There are many different ways to find a financial advisor, but finding advisors with international expertise can be challenging. This is especially true if you live in a small city where there may not be many options. The good news is that you have options in either scenario.

The best place to start looking for financial advisors is the CFP’s Lets Make a Plan website, which makes it easy to search for accredited investment advisors. The website provides local options along with their compensation method, minimum investment requirements, disciplinary history, and a brief biography. In the specialties section, you can look for international investing and any other important criteria.

If there are no international financial advisors in your area, you may want to consider asking a traditional financial advisor about incorporating international funds into your portfolio.

Many financial advisors have experience incorporating international investments into a portfolio and may have some recommendations. It’s important to ask questions to understand their approach when it comes to international investing and diversification recommendations.

International Advisors with Funds

Some international investment advisors operate their own mutual funds to provide clients with exposure to international markets.

In these cases, investors can purchase mutual funds directly from these advisors without necessarily being clients. Many of the largest advisors in the space are well-known companies, like Schwab, Fidelity, and Vanguard, but you may also want to consider smaller advisors that have carved out a niche.

Some smaller international investment advisors with mutual funds include:

  • Oakmark: An advisor focused on applying a consistent investment philosophy and process aimed at identifying value opportunities. The funds typically hold fewer than 75 securities while management has a lot of ‘skin in the game’.
  • Hartford: An advisor focused on human-centric investing, which means creating funds that match unique investment objectives. For example, its strategic beta ETFs make it easy to harness risk-optimized strategies.
  • Domini: An advisor focused on socially-responsible investing around the world, which involves seeking positive social and environmental outcomes alongside competitive financial returns for investors.

You can find lists of mutual funds using websites like USNews or various mutual fund screeners available through Morningstar and other websites.

Questions to Ask Advisors

Once you’ve identified a financial advisor, you’ll want to interview them to ensure that they’re properly qualified and a good fit for your needs.

It’s usually a good idea to meet investment advisors “face to face” to ensure that you’ll get along well.

Some important questions to ask include:

  • What experience do you have in international investing?
  • What licenses do you hold? Are you registered with the SEC, the state, or FINRA?
  • How are you paid for your services? What is your rate or commission?
  • Have you ever been disciplined by any government regulator or sued by a client?
  • Can you send me a copy of both parts of your Form ADV?

It’s important to do your due diligence to ensure that the investment advisor is the right fit for your needs. In particular, you should find advisors that are properly registered, working on a fee basis (not commission), and free from a checkered history with regulators and clients.

When considering mutual funds, you should download each fund’s prospectus to learn more about the fund’s risk and reward profile.

It may also be a good idea to call up the funds you’re interested in to learn more about their approach and ensure that it’s a good fit.

The Bottom Line

International investment advisors can help individual investors build exposure to foreign markets into their portfolios. Many investment advisors also operate their own mutual funds, which can help investors gain exposure without going through a traditional financial advisor. Before investing in these funds, it’s important to do your due diligence and ensure that all of your questions are answered and the funds are a good fit for your portfolio.